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Home arrow newsitems arrow French Foreign Minister Fabius to Eurofora: For the Unity of Opposition in Syria

French Foreign Minister Fabius to Eurofora: For the Unity of Opposition in Syria

Written by ACM
Thursday, 18 April 2013
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*Strasbourg/EU Parliament/Angelo Marcopolo/- France is in favor of the Unification of all the democratic forces opposed to President Bashar Assas in Syria, said to "EuroFora" French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabious, experienced former Prime Minister and Parliament Speaker, after expressing his regrets for the fact that, otherwise, and in the absence of a major change, the current situation doesn't seem to offer any other obvious Good solution in the foreseeable future, as things stand today.
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- "Yes, I Hope. I really do hope so !", stressed smiling Fabius in reply to "EuroFora"s question if he thought that there is any real possibility for the Syrian Opposition to be United, (as f.ex. it was done in Libya and other Arab a.o. Countries in the recent Past).


- A fortiori when "Syria was traditionally a United Country", as the French Minister observed already earlier in this regard, speaking at EU Parliament's Foreign affairs Committee.

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- Meanwhile, some Dissident circles represented also in Strasbourg circulated inside the EU Parliament ther refusal to consider the Unification of all the Syrian Opposition as a "Condition" for a decisive help from Western Countries, (despite the importance that Russia and others traditionaly give to this crucial point : See relevant, previous "EuroFora"s NewsReports). "Questions are always raised about the Reason for which the Syrian Opposition is not United" yet. "But, will the International Community remain always without doing nothing, while People are still killed in Syria, simply because it would be waiting for a Political Unification" among all Dissidents, they wondered, considering that it was today merely "Hypothetical"....


- To "EuroFora"s question on the Real Reasons for which, exceptionally, in Syria, the Unification of all 0pposants to Bashar Assad seems much more Difficult than in any other Country (Comp. Supra), a well informed American observer pointed mainly to the fact that  "the Kurdish Minority wants to have a Right to use the Kurdish Language" in the Area predominantly inhabited by Kurdish populations"; i.e. close to the Turkish border.


This fits with critical observations made recently on the sidelines of an EU Council in Brussels by a Syrian Kurdish Journalist to "EuroFora", who claimed, indeed, that Turkey's obstinated Refusal to admit any Cultural/Linguistic a.o. Autonomy of the Syrian Kurdish Minority, with the result to "Block" in practice the Opposition's Unification, merely because of Ankara's fear to have to face, sooner or later, to face a similar prospect inside its own territory, as it's currently also the case in Iraq, etc.


- In this regard, replying earlier to MEP's questions, the French Minister agreed that it seems to be some "Hopes" regarding Turkey's reported "Talks with the PKK" on the Kurdish issue.


Could EU Parliament's careful wording in favor of taking "Steps conducive to the Opening (in the EU - Turkey Negotiations) of the Chapter on Regional policy", (strongly Opposed by many MEPs of various Political Groups and from several EU Countries), - after new French Socialist President Hollande reportedly accepted after his Election, even if this wasn't really debated in Public during the 2012 Electoral campaign : See "EuroFora"s relevant Previous NewsReport dated February 20, from Paris- be, in fact, also an attempt to help broker a Regional Deal with Ankara over the Kurdish issue, which might contribute to find a solution in the Syrian conflict ? Otherwise, it would obviously be difficult to explain the real reason of such a concession to Ankara, since the Turkish Authorities have, instead of doing any progress on their obligations vis a vis EU's Standards, on the contrary, aggravated recently the Violations of Human Rights and the derogations to the detriment of Democratic principles, the Threats and/or intransigeance  vis a vis Neighbouring Countries Greece, Armenia, and Cyprus, etc., as many key MEPs critically denounced in a "hot"  EU Parliament's debate yesterday...

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 - "It's very Difficult not to be Pessimist" : "It's a horrible Tragedy", stressed earlier on the current situation in Syria, the experienced French Foreign Minister.


 - "I'm not optimist for the Future, because, if we try to continue what is going on until now, there is a Risk of Explosion, where the most Extremist elements take over : Iran regime's allies, from the side of Mr. Assad, and, from the side of Sunnites, (as he said), Al Quaida-linked forces, might counter-balance that, if the current situation is prolonged.  This could not only augment the number of persons killed, but also have serious Repercussions throughout all the neighbouring Region, f.ex. on Lebanon, Jordany, Iraq and even Turkey : This is a Major Danger, considering also the Chemical Weapons existing in Syria", he warned, (timely speaking the same day that US and Russian Media reported that the 2 Chechen Terrorists who killed innocent People in Boston, and were following developments in Syria, had lived in Turkey and even acquired a Turkish nationality)..

 - "So, the only "good" Solution would be a Political one. I.e. to change the situation on the ground, so that both sides accept to discuss between them. It's true that there are Different positions between the various components of the Opposition. But we (France) support, nevertheless, the (Turkey-based, controversial) NCS, because we think that a solution is needed, which would not be similar to the non-solution of Iraq, so that the Institutions (of the Syrian State, mainly the Army) can contine to exist. Otherwise, they risk to implose, and push us all back to the previously examined situation, i.e. that which could be dominated by extremists, provoking Chaos.  


"In this regard, what is needed is  Humanitarian and Political efforts, at a level that we haven't reached yet, and, from another side, is raised the question of the Arms' embargo, that EU a.o. maintain, while others don't always, including f.ex. Iran, Russia and other Countries. So, the UK and France have raised this issue, which is due to be discussed at the end of May", he pointed out.


In fact, there arguments both for and against the Arms Embargo. In favor of lifting it, is obviously the fact that, otherwise, the Dictator (Bashar Assad) would continue to provoke massacres. As for the Opposition, its Majority is more or less "Moderate", but, there are also Extremists who risk to take over, particularly if things don't change", Fabius found out. However, there is also the problem that, if Arms arrive at Syria, they might be usurpated by Extremists. So, it's all that that we (EU) have to examine on May", Fabious had anounced from the start.


- But, as things stand today, Fabius expressed, earlier in conclusion, his "great Concern", "because there is no good solution", as he said, "since all existing alternatives present serious Dangers", (comp. Supra), and there is currently no "Deus ex machina" who might offer, suddenly, out of the blue, a satisfactory solution" in the current situation, in which "I don't have yet a ready-made solution", he acknowledged.
However, "this doesn't mean that nobody shouldn't do anything to try to find a solution, but, on the contrary, that all should mobilize their energies in order to help definitevelt stop that on-going bloody conflict, and, in this regard, "I wish that the EU does its best", Fabius concluded
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    The recent paradox of freezing EU Talks with front-runner Croatia, while continuing controversial EU - Turkey talks, despite Zagreb's acceptance of Refugees' Human Rights to return, that Ankara refuses fex. in Cyprus, while both have "Good Neighborhood" problems vis a vis Slovenia, or Greece, Cyprus and Armenia respectively, can it be justified by the non-fullfilment of EU criteria, as Slovenia says, or, is it "Double Standards" ?    

The question became unavoidable after statements by Presidents of Slovenia and Croatia, Tuerk and Mesic, respectively, to "EuroFora", exclusively or among Strasbourg's journalists this week at the CoE, on the sidelines of its 2009 Summer University for Political Schools, which topically brought them together as successive key-note speakers.


    Comming only a few Months before EU checks Turkey's compliance to its commitments on Cyprus, etc., scheduled for December 2009, this obviously has a special importance for the coherence of EU Enlargement's principles.

     Suspension of EU Negotiations is a normal consequence in case of a Candidate Country's failure to fullfil EU Conditions, such as "Good Neighborhood relations", stressed at first Slovenian President Danilo Tuerk, current CoE's chair.

    But, regarding EU's Criteria,  there shouldn't be any "Double Standards",  reacted Croatian President Stjepan Mesic, commenting the fact that Turkey's controversial EU negotiations continue, while they were recently "freezed" in the case of Croatia, an "unquestionably European Country", which oficially accepts to respect Refugees Human Rights, contrary to Ankara's notorious refusals or reluctance.                                       

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           - "EU itself has set as a Criterium (for EU Enlargement) the "Good Neighborhood relations",  and their absence justifies the "Suspension" EU Negotiations, (f.ex. with Croatia), because of a Border dispute affecting the territorial integrity of an EU Member Country, stressed Slovenian President, Danilo Tuerk, CoE's Chairman in office (May - November 2009), speaking to Journalists in Strasbourg including "EuroFora".    

Questioned earlier what "consequences on EU's Enlargement policy" can have the "Ban on EU Membership Negotiations", imposed to Croatia, Tuerk replied that "this question comes down to the fulfillement of (EU) Criteria for membership. One has to look at each Candidate Country ., from the point of view whether it fullfils the Criteria that EU has set. One of them are Good Neighborhood Relations, I'd like to remind. And also, there are other factors, such as Justice, Home affairs, Rule of Law, and others".


    - "Now, ..Candidate Countries are at Different Levels of fulfillement of Criteria", he observed.

    - " Croatia is obviously the closest to that. I'm rather optimistic : I think that in the coming Months we'll have an opportunity to look at all these issues constructively and hopefully we'll be able to make progress". "My main concern, at this point, is the situation in Bosnia : We haven't seen enough progres domesticaly. We haven't seen enough during ..political parties within their country.We need a New Energy, a new energetic move towards the Candidature for EU membership. "Other (Western Balkan) Countries (Serbia, Montenegro, FYROM, Albania) have been making soaring Progress, and I think that they should be ready, in a few Years, for the Candidate status".

    - "As far as the Western Balkans are concerned, .. nobody should be left outside" the EU, Slovenian's President concluded, ommitting to mention Turkey's controversial EU bid.

    - "This process may be seen as Slow, but..  Slovenia has also has also been exposed to various "Booms of Slowness" in our accession period. But now we can say that the process was relatively quick, because changes which occur after becoming EU member, are quite large, and they require proper Preparations before the (EU) membership becomes a new factor, an impacting line for a new (EU) member country".
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EU "Solidarity" ?
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Slovenian statements made some participants from certain 3rd Countries as FYROM, etc. claim that "the Principle of EU Solidarity" would "produce a.. rising European Union Nationalism (sic !), against Non-EU Countries", as they said, asking unhappy foreign countries to form a "bloc" to exert pressure on the EU...    

But Croatian President Stjepan Mesic dismissed that, supporting "EU Integration", "after the Economy also in Political" issues, as "the achievement" of our times. In EU there is "diversity, but it's United", he stressed, "EU has to be United so that it can become a central factor of Peace" also at the surrounding areas, he replied.

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Speaking later exclusively to "EuroFora", the experienced twice President of Croatia, former President of the International "Non-Aligned" movement, denounced "Double Standards" in the way EU treats recently Croatia compared to Turkey :   

 - "I think that there shouldn't be Double Standards", stressed the Croatian President, in reply to a Question comparing the freeze of EU - Croatia talks, with the continuation of EU - Turkey talks, despite the fact that Croatia is an "unquestionably European country", while Turkey's EU bid is notoriously controversial.


    Mesic was reacting to the observation that, even if he confirmed his "respect of Refugees' Human Rights to return, etc. (See infra), nevertheless, EU talks are suspended with Croatia.. While for oher, controversial candidates, who refuse to respect Refugees' Rights to return, etc., as fex. Turkey does in occupied Cyprus and elsewhere, EU negotiations continue".

    - "I believe that Croatia's accession will confirm that all European Countries who fulfill all of the Conditions and achieve European Standards, have to join the EU. There shouldn't be any Double Standards", went on to add in reply President Mesic.

    In this relation, Croatia's President found "of paramount importance", CoE's "mechanisms enforcing ECHR's judgements"
    
    - "On Refugees and Displaced persons, the process will be completed only after the last person demanding to return will be allowed to do so !", President Mesic Croatia stressed earlier, setting a general standard of obvious importance also for otherr candidates, as f.ex. Turkey, often accused to exclude or heavily restrict Greek Cypriot Displaced persons' return to their Family Homes and ancestral land, provoke difficulties to Turkish-Kurd IDPs return to their home regions at the South-East, etc.

    Some "2.000 People are still reported Missing" in former Yugoslavia, for some Years, (as in Cyprus, modern Europe's oldest case, for 3 Decades. Nagorno-Karabach, Tcecnya in Russia, etc, more recently), and Investigations "will only be completed after establishing the fate of the last one of them", he added.
    
    Speaking earlier on "War Crimes", President Mesic stressed that "Leaders are responsible for (the) Wars (of the Past), not the People", and called against Impunity :  "Individuals have to be held Responsible for Crimes. International Penal Tribunals have to persecute those individuals", perpetrators of War Crimes, he underlined.

    Such statements naturally made Mesic rather popular at ECHR, whose President, French EuroJudge, Professor Jean-Paul Costa, looked particularly smiling when he welcomed him later on Wednesday afternoon, after Slovenian President Daniko Tuerk earlier this week.
           

***

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